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|Born||July 22, 1964 (age 48)|
|view • talk|
John Leguizamo was born in Bogotá, Colombia, to Alberto and Luz Leguizamo, According to Leguizamo, his paternal grandfather was of Puerto Rican and Italian descent and his maternal grandfather was Lebanese. Leguizamo has also described himself as being of Amerindian and Mestizo heritage. Leguizamo's father was once an aspiring film director and studied at Cinecittà, but eventually dropped out due to lack of finances. When Leguizamo was four years old, his family emigrated to the United States and lived in various neighborhoods of Queens in New York City, including Jackson Heights. He later credited growing up as one of the first Latino children in his Jackson Heights neighborhood as formative in his acting ability: "It was tough. There were lots of fights. I would walk through a park and be attacked, and I had to defend myself all the time. But this helped me to become funny so that I wouldn’t get hit." Leguizamo attended the Joseph Pulitzer Middle School (I.S.145) and later the Murry Bergtraum High School. As a student at Murry Bergtraum, Leguizamo wrote comedy material and tested it out on his classmates. He was voted "Most Talkative" by his fellow classmates. After graduating from high school, he began his theater career as an undergraduate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in which he eventually dropped out to seek a stand-up comedy career. Post NYU Leguizamo enrolled at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus where he took theater classes.